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Fun for the Fourth

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY LISA JAMES
Dylan Layfield, 7, of Atwater, looks at a portrait of his late father Lance Corporal Travis Layfield who died in Fallujah on April 06, 2004. Dylan and his friends at the First Baptist Church in Atwater will be participating in the annual Atwater 4th of July Parade on Saturday morning with a float designed to honor Layfield.
July 2nd, 2009
SUN-STAR PHOTO BY LISA JAMES Dylan Layfield, 7, of Atwater, looks at a portrait of his late father Lance Corporal Travis Layfield who died in Fallujah on April 06, 2004. Dylan and his friends at the First Baptist Church in Atwater will be participating in the annual Atwater 4th of July Parade on Saturday morning with a float designed to honor Layfield. July 2nd, 2009 Merced Sun-Star

There's no shortage of patriotic parties in Merced County this Fourth of July weekend.

ATWATER: The parade starts 10 a.m. Saturday at Winton Way and ends at Ralston Park where a festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. at Buhach Colony High School. There is no entrance fee but parking is $5.

GUSTINE: The city will host a 10:30 a.m. parade through downtown. A fireworks show will start at dusk at Gustine High School.

MERCED: Merced Fairgrounds Speedway, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Admission is free and parking costs $5. The fireworks should begin between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Last year, about 7,000 packed into the grandstands. This year's show costs about $12,000 and should last 16 minutes.

LIVINGSTON: Under the sun, a carnival with bands, food and fun will be ongoing all day at Memorial Park. Under the stars, fireworks will light the sky starting at 9:30 p.m. in the park.

LOS BANOS: A fireworks show will start at 9 p.m. at the county fairgrounds at N and D streets.

Today's holiday closures

City of Merced offices will be closed. Trash will be collected on a normal schedule.

Merced County offices will be closed.

The Merced County Superior Court will be closed.

City of Livingston offices will be closed.

City of Atwater offices will be closed.

City of Los Banos offices will be closed.

UC Merced is closed.

Merced College will be open today from 8 a.m. to noon.

School district offices throughout the region, including the Merced County Office of Education, will be closed.

Banks will be open normal hours today and be closed Saturday.

Grocery stores will operate normal hours.

Extra patrols

Law enforcement agencies throughout the region will have extra officers on duty, especially looking out for drunk drivers. The Merced Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint tonight from 8 until 1 Saturday morning.

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